National & World News from NPR

Pages

Parallels
5:07 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Russian Lawmakers: Don't Criticize Soviet Actions In WWII

A column of Russia's T-90 tanks rumbles over the cobblestones in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 during the country's Victory Day parade celebrating the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.

The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.

Read more
Parallels
4:50 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Escape From An Eritrean Prison

Eritrea's human rights record has been widely criticized under President Isaias Afwerki, shown here speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, 2011.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 7:56 am

Eritrea's human rights record has long faced international criticism. Located in the Horn of Africa, the country is home to five million people, but so closed to the outside world that individual stories tend to come almost exclusively from those who have fled.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

One Couple, Nearly 20 Years, All 'Before Midnight'

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke star in Before Midnight, the third film in a series that follows near 20 years of a relationship.
Despina Spyrou Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 1:11 pm

In 1995, an unintended cult-classic trilogy was born with a film that centered on a simple, romantic premise. Two strangers in their early 20s spend a spontaneous night together in Vienna. The characters, Jesse and Celine, split ways in Before Sunrise, but they reunited nine years later for a sequel, Before Sunset.

In that sequel, Jesse and Celine, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, find each other in Paris for another brief rendezvous. Even though both are now in other relationships, they can't shake their connection.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Siblings' Separation Haunts In 'Kite Runner' Author's Latest

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:59 pm

There was a time around 2003, before e-books and e-readers, when it seemed that everywhere you turned — in an airport, on a bus or anywhere people read — people were lost in The Kite Runner. An epic tale set in Afghanistan, the book sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. and catapulted the author, Khaled Hosseini, onto the global literary stage.

Hosseini followed that success with another book about his homeland, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which also became a best-seller.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Stories Of Hope Amid America's 'Unwinding'

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 1:11 pm

According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of deal among Americans — a deal in which everyone had a place.

"People were more constrained than they are today, they had less freedom," he says, "but they had more security and there was a sense in which each generation felt that the next generation would be able to improve itself, to do better."

Read more
Business
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

The Durability Of Levis, Woven Into America's Fabric

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 1:11 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One hundred and forty years ago this month, a German immigrant named Levi Strauss patented the first pair of jeans ever made. During the California gold rush, Strauss traveled across the country to set up a West Coast branch of his family's dry goods business. That business changed forever when Strauss got a letter from a tailor named Jacob Davis.

Read more
Afghanistan
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Afghans With Disabilities Fight For The Right To Rights

A technician shapes a cast mold for a prosthetic limb at the Red Cross orthopedic clinic in Kabul. The clinic produces about 2,000 prosthetic limbs each year.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Climbing the rickety metal staircase is precarious enough if you aren't on crutches, but it's simply dangerous if you are. At the top is the office of Janbazan-e-Mayhan, one of many social councils for disabled Afghans. Men missing arms, legs or hands sit around the small room.

Afghanistan isn't an easy place for anyone to make a living. But for those with disabilities, it's a downright hostile environment. Tens of thousands have been maimed and disabled during decades of conflict. Jobs are scarce, and there's almost nothing that's handicapped-accessible.

Read more
Politics
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Nonconservative Groups Say IRS Scrutinized Them, Too

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:46 pm

The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.

Read more
Politics
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Political Takeaways: Headaches For The White House

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 1:11 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
3:28 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Put On Your Thinking Hat

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 1:11 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H-A and the second word starts with T.

Last week's challenge: From listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J. Name a famous American man — first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?

Answer: Ted Turner; head turner

Winner: Vernon Cole, Brownsboro, Ala.

Read more
Business
11:51 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Tesla Rides High, But Faces Formidable Foe: Car Dealers

The Tesla Model S, Motor Trend Car of the Year, is introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit in January. Tesla's attempts to sell its cars without going through dealerships is meeting resistance.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Motors, the American maker of luxury electric cars, has been riding a wave of good publicity.

Its Model S sedan (base priced at $62,400, after federal tax credits) was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year. Reviewers at Consumer Reports gave the lithium-ion battery powered vehicle a rave.

And the company, headed by billionaire innovator Elon Musk, 41, posted a profit for the first time in its 10-year history — powered in part by zero-emission environmental credits.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:14 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

New 'Trek' Goes 'Into Darkness,' But Not Much Deeper

Zachary Quinto as Spock, with Chris Pine as Kirk, in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Zade Rosenthal Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:47 pm

The opening sequence of J.J. Abram's new entry in the Star Trek universe has all the ingredients of the classic franchise.

There's Kirk and his crew bellowing on the bridge, everyone worrying about the prime directive and our favorite Vulcan trapped in a volcano.

OK, I'm in. I may not be a fanboy anymore, but I sure was in my youth, and having these guys in their youths again is just as cool at the outset as it was last time.

Read more
Mental Health
4:27 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Alzheimer's Cases Rise, But Hope Remains

Amy Goyer moved back to Phoenix to look after her father, Robert, when he began to show signs of Alzheimer's. He is just one of 5 million Americans living with the disease.
Sarah Brodzinski

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:47 pm

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, and the National Institute on Aging estimates that that number is going to triple by 2050 — in part due to aging baby boomers.

The cost of coping with the disease — currently estimated at $215 billion — is projected to rise to half a trillion dollars by 2050. That amount will likely tax our overburdened health care system, the economy and the families of those affected.

Amy Goyer realized her 84-year-old father Robert's health was deteriorating one night while watching a movie with him.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Prominent Pakistani Politician Shot, Killed On Re-Election Eve

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:25 am

On the eve of a re-vote, a prominent Pakistani politician was shot and killed on Saturday.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports that Zahra Shahid Hussain, who was the senior vice president of Pakistan's Movement for Justice (PTI), was shot in the head during "an attempted robbery incident."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Impossible Choice Faces America's First 'Climate Refugees'

The 350 residents of Newtok, Alaska, will soon be the country's first "climate refugees." The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the village is likely to be underwater in just four years.
Richard Sprenger The Guardian

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 4:59 am

Climate change is a stark reality in America's northernmost state. Nearly 90 percent of native Alaskan villages are on the coast, where dramatic erosion and floods have become a part of daily life.

Perched on the Ninglick River on the west coast of the state, the tiny town of Newtok may be the state's most vulnerable village. About 350 people live there, nearly all of them Yupik Eskimos. But the Ninglick is rapidly rising due to ice melt, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the highest point in the town — a school — could be underwater by 2017.

Read more

Pages